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Japan plans to build research centre on Moon

Concept drawing of a robotic lunar base. JAXA photo

MOSCOW (BNS): The Japanese government plans to invest $ 2.2 bllion to build a scientific research base on the moon, a RIA Novosti report said.

The program will use humanoid robots to operate on the moon surface. A Japanese government panel has produced a draft paper outlining how humanoid robots will begin surveying the moon by 2015 and build a whole robot base there by 2020.

Exploration of the moon surface will be carried out in two phases. In the first, a mobile robot will be sent to the moon. The robot is to send video images of the surface as well as conduct seismographic research on the moon's composition, the Russian news agency said.

Later, the robots will begin construction of an unmanned base near the south pole of the moon that will be powered by solar panels.

The robot which weighs about 660 pounds will roll on treads and operate within a 60-mile radius of the base. They will be equipped with solar panels, seismographs to investigate the moon's inner structure, high-def cameras, and arms to gather rock samples, which will be returned to Earth via rocket, a media report said.

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